Glencar/Manorhamilton got something of a shock before they overcame the challenge in the final quarter of ‘goal rush’ producing Carrigallen outfit in Saturday’s entertaining Connacht Gold Senior Championship Group 1 game in Cloone.
Carrigallen asked many questions of Glencar/Manor in this game and certainly created plenty of doubt in the minds of the north Leitrim side with the way they forced Glencar/Manor to concede goals.
The champions were made to look very vulnerable at times before they weathered the storm. Glencar/Manor did score 20 points by the time the final whistle sounded but they certainly were made to struggle at times to assert their less that impressive dominance over a battling Carrigallen side.
If Carrigallen, who has been badly hit by emigration this year, had managed to conjure up another goal in the second half, they could very well have turned the tables on Glencar/Manor.
Glencar/Manor was first to score when James Glancy put over a 5th minute free while Adrian Croal added a seventh minute point from play to double Glencar/Manor’s lead.
Carrigallen opened their account when Eamon O’Malley fired over from play in the following minute and they were on level terms two minutes later after the lively O’Malley again hit the target from play.
The south Leitrim men struck for a 17th minute goal when Conor Doonan neatly flicked past Manor keeper Gary Loughlin after the ball had bobbed in the goalmouth area for a few seconds.
But Glencar/Manor quickly recovered and had cut Carrigallen’s lead to the minimum within the space of 90 seconds after Gerry Hickey and Adrian Croal hit over a point apiece before Glancy levelled a few minutes later.
Before halftime Glencar/Manor forged ahead with points from Croal, Glancy (free) and Dominic Kelly to put the North Leitrim side ahead by 0-8 to 1-2 at the break. Within nine seconds of the restart and straight from the throw-in, Carrigallen got back on level term after Gary Reilly finished to the Manor net in a flash when he found the north Leitrim side’s fullback line knapping.
Gerry Hickey had Manor back in front within the space of a minute when he fired over from play and Adrian Croal pointed to double the north Leitrim’s side’s advantage by the 37th minute.
A Derek Reilly free cut Glencar/Manor’s advantage and sixty seconds later Conor Doonan cut through the north Leitrim’s side’s shaky defence to find the back of the net and put Carrigallen two up.
Glencar/Manor rallied and hit three points from Gerry Hickey, Shane Loughlin and Colin Ryan and the champions continued to press home their advantage as they went four points clear with four minutes to go thanks to points from Croal, sub Michael Poniard & Aaron Hickey (free).
Eamon O’Malley replied with a point from 57th minute free but that was his side’s final score in the game and not enough to bridge the gap with Glencar/Manor.
Glencar/Manor finished strongly when Paddy Maguire, Adrian Croal and sub Mark McGourty added a point each, to claim a secure victory after some anxious moments earlier in the half.
Gary Loughlin; Thomas McDonald, Paddy Maguire (0-2), James O’Brien; Shane Loughlin (0-1), Adrian O’Flynn, Pat Gilmartin,; Fintan McGourty, Aaron Hickey (0-1); Dominic Kelly (0-1), Colin Ryan (0-1), Gerry Hickey (0-4); Adrian Croal (0-5), Anthony McDonald, James Glancy (0-3). Subs: Brian McDonald for A. McDonald (41 mins); James Rooney for Glancy (48 mins); Michael Poniard (0-1) for O’Flynn (53 mins), Mark McGourty (0-1) for Kelly (62 mins).
Enda Lyons; Killian Ward, Karl Ward, Barry Dolan; J. P. McManus, Barry Reilly, Derek Reilly; Clifford Richardson, Aaron Beirne; Gary Reilly, Tiernan O’Rourke, Eamon O’Malley; Sean McCabe, Benny O’Rourke, Conor Doonan. Subs: Eamon Dolan for Beirne (45 mins); Gerard Percival for McCabe (52 mins), Padraig Doyle for Doonan (58 mins).
Referee: Francis Flynn.